According to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the rate of current alcohol use has dropped among youth aged 12 to 17 years, from 28.8 percent in 2002 to 26.4 percent in 2008. More good news in the survey findings: among people aged12 to 20, both past-month use of alcohol and binge drinking have fallen since 2002. Evidence that underage drinking prevention messages are reaching youth and adults is also in the new survey findings:
The percentage of youth aged 12 to 17 indicating their perception of great risk in having four or five drinks of an alcoholic beverage nearly every day increased from 62.2 percent in 2002 to 65.9 percent in 2008.
During the same years, perception of great risk from engaging in this dangerous level of drinking even once or twice per week increased from 38.2 percent in 2002 to 40.5 percent in 2008.
Despite the good news, underage drinking continues as a major challenge to health and safety. Stopping underage alcohol use remains a major public health priority at community, State and National levels. The Stop Underage Drinking Portal of Federal Resources’ homepage links to the complete 2008 NSDUH survey findings as well as other resources.